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Literary 'mews'

a gray tabby has found a home, and a public library gets a warm, fuzzy feeling

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Emily is queen of her domain. She presides over the Mystic and Noank (Conn.) Library with a regal air, attended by library staff and visitors who have learned to do her bidding. Emily is not shy about telling them what she wants.

For a cat, it doesn't get much better than this.

She doesn't like taking the stairs, so she waits by the elevator for someone to push the buttons (she can't reach them herself). Then she marches onto the elevator and quietly rides up to the second floor.

Library volunteer John Jackson is often called upon to give Emily a drink of fresh water. Emily will indicate which bathroom she would like to use, then wait for Jackson to turn on the light and turn on the faucet just right so that Emily can lap a long, cool drink.

"Everybody likes having her here," says Marilyn Barr, the assistant librarian. "She's very approachable. She likes to be the queen, and she likes people to pay homage to her."

Emily has lived in this public library ever since some local children found her in the bushes 11 years ago. She was just a kitten. As they searched for a home for the little gray tabby, friends kept recommending the local library. Two other cats had lived there in the past.

Dewey (named for the Dewey Decimal System, of course), lived at the library for about two years until someone down the street adopted him. Even after he moved out, Dewey would often come back to visit. He would just slip in through the book-return chute.

John Doe was next - the cat was found under the library's fire escape, in a window well. But the library had 10 catless years before Emily appeared.


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